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Jesus’ brother led Jerusalem church
History, it is said, is written by the winners. Perhaps that’s why we know so little about James, the brother of Jesus. Although he was a major player in the first-century A.D., his popularity waned in the next few centuries as the followers...
Bible Review, June 2003
Who First Recognized Jesus as Messiah?
Being first to hear doesn’t always mean being first to understand. In Luke’s birth narrative, Mary is the first to be told that Jesus will be the messiah. Luke adds that she “treasures the words” the angel Gabriel speaks to her. But Mary is also puzzled by the divine message; she is “perplexed”...
Bible Review, Winter 2005
Is it what you eat or where you eat it?
That food and dining in the Greco-Roman world provide the background for understanding several difficult passages in Paul’s letters is not surprising. What is surprising is that these...
Bible Review, June 1994
Who put the scrolls in there?
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 11 caves in the Judean Desert near a site known as Khirbet Qumran, or the ruins of Qumran. Père Roland de Vaux of the École Biblique et Archéologique Française, who excavated the site in the 1950s,...
Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2011
The blurry line between biblical and nonbiblical texts
We like to think of Holy Writ as unchanging, but the ancients didn’t. A study of the Dead Sea Scrolls reveals that texts could exist in different forms—even be consciously modified—without losing their sanctity.
Bible Review, June 1999
Why one made it and the other didn’t
Brave, wise and stunningly beautiful, Esther and Judith have much in common. Both Jewish heroines live under foreign domination. Both risk their lives to save their people from...
Bible Review, February 2002
In this issue four prominent scholars tell BAR readers how the scrolls changed their lives. Harvard’s Frank Cross is the doyen of Dead Sea Scroll scholars; his views come in an interview with BAR editor Hershel Shanks. In the pages that...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2007
It is a commonplace that every book of the Hebrew Bible except Esther has been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Actually, this is true only if you count Ezra-Nehemiah as one book—as,...
Bible Review, October 1996